Friday, November 2, 2007

A Bricolage, or The Can of Worms

There's always that moment, right about when I log in to blogspot, when I think, "ok, Katie, what the fuck are you going to write about today? The same shit you always write?"

And the answer is always the same: "yes. Yes, yes, and yes."

Because I really love this blog. And I mean, like it's my child or something. Which it is, in a metaphorical sense.

So, as you can tell, I've once again solved the problem of what to write about! Therefore, movies are like real life.

Here's what I mean: have you ever seen a 1930s Hollywood musical? You know the kind: the biggest problem is that I say banana and you say bahnahnah, and that's why we're getting divorced, but it'll be fine because we can rollerskate and tap dance AT THE SAME TIME even though we haven't rollerskated since we were twelve! (Note: see Shall We Dance? Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers). Now there's an easy problem to solve. The problem with these kinds of movies, especially at the time, is that they both reinforced viewers' values AND also provided those very same values. It's all so capitalist. So you went to the movies, your stomach as empty as a broken window pane, and realized OH! The problem is that a) I don't have enough money b) I don't know how to woo women [these movies were sooo targeted at men] and c) I really need a sense of fashion [ok, this was targeted at women, as was the idea that all women should want to be objectified and admired all day long]. And the solution? Money will come! And I'll frolic and dance as gay as the sprightly sparrows. Which sounds really nice. This one guy, Richard Dyer, wrote a lot about entertainment and Utopia. Then there was this other guy, Siegfried Kracauer (he wrote From Caligari to Hitler, a real beach read, that) who thinks that showgirls in geometric patterns (ie any Dick Tracy musical) are really, really scary. True. They kinda are. But he meant it, too. These women are just cogs in a machine, not knowing what patterns they're so willingly giving their identities up to make. And what's even creepier? We, the entrapped workers (yeah, yeah, Kracauer was a Marxist) go to see these shows and only THINK we're escaping, but we're really just seeing this gruesome play-by-play of our own blind existence. And it was this fact, still eerier, that predicts and supports the rise of Hitler (yeah, yeah, Kracauer was German and wrote most of his stuff in retrospect, but he wrote this one in 1927). When people are so blind that they only pay attention to their small task, they become unaware of what they may be getting themselves into. It was easy for Hitler to take control. And I, personally, think that we should be more aware now. Not to be political or anything, but there's stuff going on right now that we're completely ignoring. Unintentionally, of course. We're too busy watching Paris Hilton's every engagement.

I'm really, really sorry if I've offended or confused any of you. I just needed to get that out there. Don't even get me started on the portrayl of women in movies. Ughhh...But anyway, my point [originally] with all this, was to draw a parallel between how easy it was for Fred and Ginger to stay married, and how easy it was for me to think of something to write about. I'm being rather self-reflexive now, referring to the writing process.

Isn't this blog indubidubly verisimilitudinous?


Anthony said...

Considering the fact that movies are a product of humans, it's only natural for them the reflect the particular culture in which they are conceived. This is true for all forms of art. Indeed, all disciplines are subject to this, as they are driven by humans. It's like a car. The car goes a certain way, not because the car itself wants to, but because the person the is driving the car wants it to. Everything that we surround ourselves with are vehicles.

Madeline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madeline said...

I don't understand musicals most of the time. I saw "South Pacific" and I was very scared. Except I liked Stew Pot. Mmmm, Stew Pot.